Friday, May 7, 2010

Popularity of Regencies and my new one coming 6.29.10

As I polish the first in a Regency series of romanticas, I marvel at the enduring popularity of that period in romance and erotica.
Is it the graciousness of the period? Yes, yes, despite the Napoleonic wars and their end. Is it the elegance of the homes, the carriages, the launch of waltzes? The emphasis on manners without the stuffiness of the later Victorian moralities? Is it the delight of a society growing and prospering? Is it the timeless popularity of Jane Austen blazing that fabulous trail for all of us to follow?
Perhaps, all, eh?
A student of English history, I get a charge out of writing these. A different set of challenges for an author to address. A set of conflicts for a couple that strike vibrant chords in the hearts of contemporary readers.
Do you like Regencies?
If so, what type? The traditional, no sex, lots of tension, manners and posturing? The sensuals? Or the eroticas?
And do look for my quintet of THE STANHOPE CHALLENGE, due to begin June 29 at Resplendence, with LORD STANHOPE's IMPROPER PROPOSAL. A primer on ancient Chinese love techniques, anyone?
The second--a FREE READ--my only one to date and a loooong one, I might add, will debut shortly thereafter. This one stars the only female sibling in the STANHOPE clan, Clarice in her tempting dilemma, LADY RAMSEY'S RIBALD CHOICES.


Lynne Connolly said...

I think it's habit. People know the Regency, they think they do, anyway. Most Regencies published these days are little more than fancy dress fairy tales. I know, it's hard, and yours is probably genius accurate, but I picked up half a dozen books at RT and put them all down after the first chapter or three.
Is it too much to ask that people respect history a bit more and write something that could actually have happened in the period?

Lynne Connolly said...

forgot to tick the email comments box

Anny Cook said...

Actually, I mostly stick to the Georgette Heyers. They were the ones I read first and still enjoy the most.

April Ash said...

I like the traditional and sensual regency romances. I started reading Barbara Cartland, Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt romances and got hooked! Love the elegance and time.

jean hart stewart said...

I love regencies, as long as they tell a good story. Sometimes they do little but stick in every details the heroine is wearing, and I hate that. My newest release, The Third Rose could possibly be classified a regency as it's set in that time period. But it's a chasing-the-spy story and I don't know what to call it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Love the regency period. When I began writing I just knew that's what I wanted to write. Not the standard regency, but those a little of the HOT side. There is just something so romantic about the genre. I have two of them published and have moved into paranormal and contemporary but they are the best 'comfort reads' around.

Virginia, Researchers Anonymous said...

Regencys have a lower stress level than Modern romances. The stress that you have in daily life: work, money, cleaning, ... just do not exist for the upper 0.5% that these books are about. To top it off, the "stressors" that the heorines worry about seem almost trivial to a modern woman. Of course, modern people in the upper crust don't have to clean thier own houses, either. When I read a fiction/fantasy book, I don't want to think about the bills that need paying, husbands that won't clean, kids, bosses or anything else that contributes to my ulcer. Regencys are fairy tales where the worst thing that you have to worry about is if your dress is out of style. Of course, if I were living in that period, I'd be the maid, not the princess. But who really wants to hear about deadly doctors, rampent disease, no sewage, children starving in the streets, men with the legal right to kill thier wives, etc. Life was hard then, but from a distance of 200 years, that's easy to ignore/forget. Readers don't want historical accuracy. Readers want to envision the way they wish thier lives had turned out.

Virginia, Researchers Anonymous said...

Perhaps Regencys are about suducing the reader with the fantasy of a world in which all their worries are taken care of and the only worries are ones which the reader could easily handle. Since the darker side of the period and patriarchal systems do not exist in the books, the reader can imagine a fantasy land of balls, servants and handsome men.

Lynne Connolly said...

Then call them fantasies. Don't disrespect your ancestors and how they lived. Fantasies are great, getaway reads and I wouldn't object to them in the least. I'd probably buy a few.
When I buy a Regency, I want something plausible. The writer has raised my expectations by calling it a Regency, only to deflate it when it turns out to be nothing of the kind. I won't go back.
As for who wants to know about the nitty-gritty - I do, and so do the thousands of readers who buy sagas. Men didn't have the right to kill their wives, there was quite an extensive sewerage system at the time, disease wasn't rampant all of the time, and people were a lot cleaner than you might think. It is possible to write a romantic Regency with an accurate setting, and I'd love to see more of them.
But if you want luxury, tell me about the way the rich really lived, not about some fairytale imagining no thicker than wallpaper. No depth, no interest.